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Harold K. Bush, Jr., Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Humanities 231

In October of 1994, Hal Bush received his Ph.D. in English from Indiana University. Currently he is working on several articles concerning hope, eschatology, and the ethical and social dimensions of American ideology. He has begun work on a new book project about the cultural work of parental grief in the lives of key figures in 19th- and 20th-century America, tentatively entitled Continuing Bonds.

M.S. Indiana University (1986)
M.A. Indiana University (1991)
Ph.D. Indiana University (1994)

American Literature and American Studies, Historical Approaches to Literature, Cultural Studies, Mark Twain, the Profession of English, Christianity and Literature


Mark Twain and the Spiritual Crisis of His Age (University of Alabama Press, January 2007)

This book focuses on Mark Twain¹s knowledge of and engagement with nineteenth-century Christianity, the Social Gospel, and more generally, as the title suggests, with the ³spiritual crises² that peppered his major period as a writer. It includes extensive treatment of Twain¹s deep friendship with his pastor in Hartford, Joseph Twichell‹a topic of great concern (though generally neglected) in any attempt to come to terms with Twain's views of the Bible, religion, and the Christian life throughout his major period. This book constitutes a major addition to recent work on Mark Twain, particularly in its attempt to historicize the religious milieu of the period, as reflected in Twain¹s achievement and thought. It includes selections from Twichell¹s personal papers, thus making available to scholars heretofore unpublished documents. The upshot of the volume is a full reconsideration of Twain¹s immersion in, and often sympathy with, the religious cultures of his era.

American Declarations: Rebellion and Repentance in American Cultural History. (University of Illinois Press, 1999)

Significant moments in American literary history, such as public speeches that generate considerable reaction, are widely publicized precisely because they strike a powerful resonance within the American public sphere as manifestations of key cultural conflicts. Moreover, such public performances have frequently drawn upon such key mythic models as the Declaration of Independence and the act of Christian repentance. American Declarations clarifies how public debate has served to define, defend, and reshape the regnant myths of America and considers how both major and minor literary figures have participated in such debate. Figures studied include
Nathaniel Hawthorne, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, Sinclair Lewis, and Robert Frost.



"Cradling Lives in Our Hands: Towards a Theory of Cultural Biography."
Christianity & Literature 57.1 (Fall 2007): 119-38.

"Grief Work: After a Child Dies." The Christian Century (Dec. 11, 2007):

"Mark Twain's Lincoln as 'Man of the Border': Religion, Freethinking, and the Civil War." In There Before Us: Religion, Literature, and Culture from Emerson to Wendell Berry, ed. Roger Lundin. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007. 141-71.

"Writing's 'Privileged Gesture': An Interview with Richard Ford." Co-authored with Fred Arroyo. Indiana Review 28.2 (Winter 2006): 89-106.

"Searching for Home." (Review essay on Richard Ford's trilogy). Southern Review 44 (Spring 2007): 461-66.

"Wendell Berry, Seeds of Hope, and the Survival of Creation." In a
special issue devoted to Berry. Christianity & Literature 56.2 (Winter 2007): 297-316.

"'Hunting for Reasons to Hope': A Conversation with Wendell Berry." In a special issue devoted to Berry. Christianity & Literature 56.2 (Winter 2007): 214-234.

"'A Passion for the Impossible': Richard Rorty, John Okada, and James Baldwin." In The Gift of Story: Narrating Hope in the Postmodern World, eds. Emily Griesinger and Mark Eaton (Waco: Baylor UP, 2006): 171-86.

"The 'Metaphysics of America' and the 2004 Presidential Election,"
Integrite 3.2 (Fall 2004): 65-71.

“Mark Twain’s American Adam: Humor as Hope and Apocalypse,” Christianity & Literature, 53.3 (Spring 2004): 291-314.

“Ecclesiastes and Revelation: The Embodiment of Authentic Hope in the Classroom,” Integrite 1.2 (Spring 2003): 5-16.

"Christ as Telos: 'The End' of the Christian University,” The Heithaus Forum (Spring 2003). On-line at <>.

“Harriet Beecher Stowe.” Commissioned essay for the Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals. Ed. Timothy Larsen (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2003). 641-4.

“‘Broken Idols’”: Mark Twain’s Elegies for Susy and a Critique of Freudian Grief Theory,” Nineteenth-Century Literature 57.2 (Sept. 2002): 237-68.

Notes for Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis.  Modern Library edition, Winter 2002.

“‘A Moralist in Disguise’:  Mark Twain and American Religion,” chapter for The Oxford Historical Guide to Mark Twain, ed. Shelley Fisher
Fishkin (Oxford University Press, 2002). 55-94.

“Personally Speaking:  Mark Twain and the ‘Autobiographical Critic,’" in Mark Twain Among the Critics, ed. by Richard Hill & James McWilliams (Whitson 2002).

“Politics,” in The Robert Frost Encyclopedia, ed. by Nancy Lewis Tuten and John Zubizarreta  (Greenwood Press, 2001): 283-87.

“Demythologizing Adam: Mark Twain and the Nature of Man,” in Critical Essays on the Myth of the American Adam, eds. Viorica Patea &
Maria Eugenia Diaz (University of Salamanca Press, 2001): 147-62.

“Emerson, John Brown, and ‘Doing the Word’: The Enactment of Political Religion at Harpers Ferry, 1859,” in The Emerson Dilemma:  Essays on
Emerson and Social Reform
, ed. T. Gregory Garvey (Univ. of Georgia Press, 2001):  197-217.

“Hope, Eschatology, and Literary Studies:  Prospects for a New Millennium,” Religion & Literature 33.2 (Summer 2001):  97-110

“The Outrageous Idea of a Christian Literary Studies: Prospects for the Future & A Meditation on Hope,” Christianity & Literature  51.1 (Autumn 2001): 79-103.

“Our Mark Twain? or, Some Thoughts on the ‘Autobiographical Critic.’” The New England Quarterly  74.1 (March 2000): 101-22.

“The Declaration of Independence and Uncle Tom’s Cabin:  A Rhetorical Criticism Approach,”   in Approaches to Teaching Stowe’s  Uncle Tom’s
, ed. by Elizabeth Ammons and Susan Belasco (MLA, 2000): 172-83.

"'Absorbing' the Character: James Whitcomb Riley and Mark Twain's Theory of Performance." American Literary Realism 31.3 (Spring l999): 31-47.

"Richard Henry Dana, Jr.," in the Dictionary of American Biography: Travel Writers, 1800-1865 (Gale Research, 1998), pp. 78-89

"'Our Great Confused West': Further Attempts to Define Mark Twain."College English (Spring 1998): 192-201

"Acting Like Mark Twain: Performance in Nineteenth-Century American Culture," American Quarterly (June 1997): 404-13.

"Structural America: The Persistence of Oppositional Paradigms in American Literary Theory." College Literature 23.2 (June l996): 181-88

"The Mythic Struggle Between East and West: Mark Twain's Speech at Whittier's 70th Birthday Celebration and W. D. Howells's A Chance Acquaintance." American Literary Realism 27.2 (Winter l995): 53-73

"Robert Frost Writing the Myth of America: Rereading 'The Gift Outright.'" The Robert Frost Review (1995): 45-55.

"Re-Inventing the Puritan Fathers: George Bancroft, Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Birth of Endicott's Ghost." ATQ: American Transcendental Quarterly 9.2 (June 1995): 131-52.

"Poststructuralism as Theory and Practice in the English Classroom." ERIC Digest (1995).

"A Brief History of PC, With Annotated Bibliography." American Studies International (Apr. 1995): 42-64.

"Reader Response Theory: Reading, Writing, and Literature Practices in Classrooms." Reading Research and Instruction 33.4 (Summer 1994): 326-30.

"'Beating Back the Monsters': George Orwell and the Morality of Fictions." Christianity & Literature 42.2 (Winter 1993): 333-41.

"Using Television Commercials To Help Students Discover Their Audiences." Exercise Exchange 39.1 (Fall 1993): 9-13.

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